It doesn’t take much to tempt many of us down to Cornwall. The area is consistently voted as the UK’s most popular holiday destination, attracting around four million visitors each year. Stunning harbour views, pretty bays, and a raft of excellent restaurants keep us seaside-aficionados coming. This year, sees the long-awaited completion of the new Tate St Ives. Four years in the making, and costing £20m, the first phase is already open with the transformation finishing in October this year. The new cliff-side gallery has been designed by the award-winning Jamie Fobert Architects and will allow Tate St Ives to stay open all year round for the first time. Check out the public garden on its roof (tate.org.uk).
For the best of both worlds, make The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate your bolthole. Its located near to St Austell and just a short drive from the quaint seaside villages of Mevagissey and Fowey. There’s a choice of chic hotel rooms in the Victorian manor house or family-friendly lodges set in the 43 acres of parkland. From here it is just a few minutes’ drive to The Eden Project, you’ll be able to take in The Australia Zone – its largest exhibition for 15 years (edenproject.com).
The wood-clad lodges offer the flexibility of self-catering with an open-plan kitchen-living space. The topsy-turvy layout (with bedrooms on the ground floor) means that you can make the most of the woodland views and eat al fresco on the glass-encased balcony. The nod to Scandinavian style means clean, contemporary interiors with touches of luxury – flat-screen TVs, granite-clad kitchens and hot tubs. If holidaying to you means coming out of the kitchen, however, then head to the main hotel for meals and spa treats. Here décor is more boutique in style – think: flagstone floors, rough-hewn walls and marble fireplaces.
Start your evening off with a spiced-rum cocktail in the cosy, cottage-like bar. Its menu is also great for quick bites to eat and perfect for the little ones (bag a corner and grab some of the board games). In the next-door brasserie, the menu is based around local produce with a modern twist. Fried Cornish Squid, Fowey Mussels and Cornish Crab Cakes are just what you crave after a wind-swept day on the beach.
While the Cornish Hake Bourride in a rich broth of shellfish, fennel and aioli was a stand-out. The desserts here are particularly inventive: a must is the ‘It’s Not Quite Jelly and Ice Cream’ – far removed from the nursery sweet you’ll remember. Blueberry and port jelly, berry macaroon, clotted cream, pistachio and berry marshmallow and strawberry sorbet is sublime.
Family is a real focus at The Cornwall so ask about their changing roster of activities – from pop-up pizza nights to treasure hunts in the ground. There’s also a mini playground near the brasserie so kids can escape the confines of the dining table, while you can end your meal in peace.
Watergate Bay beach is ideal for surfing, crabbing and generally just kicking back. Grab freshly-caught fish for lunch at The Beach Hut and book ahead for dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall where new head chef Adam Banks is at the helm.
Stay at The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate from £99 per night in a Luxury Room, breakfast is an additional £15 per person. thecornwall.com
This article was also published in City AM newspaper on 19 June 2017